Murray man sentenced to seven years prison for driving to Logan to meet up with undercover officer, posing as teen girl

Nathan Benjamin Allen booking photo from the Cache County Jail.

LOGAN — A 38-year-old Murray man has been sentenced to prison for driving to Logan to meet up with an undercover police officer, posing as a 13-year-old girl. Nathan Benjamin Allen cried and wiped away tears as he was ordered to serve a term of seven-years-to-life.

Allen was sentenced Monday morning in 1st District Court. He previously had accepted a plea agreement, pleading guilty to attempted sodomy on a child and attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, both first-degree felonies; two counts of enticing a minor by internet or text and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, both second-degree felonies; along with dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony.

According to prosecutors, Allen began messaging a Logan City Police officer on an internet chat website in June 2022. He began a sexually flirtatious conversation, saying he wanted to meet in person. He also sent a video of him exposing and inappropriately touching himself.

On Aug. 18, 2022, Allen stated that he wanted to meet up and was driving to Cache Valley. A location was arranged, where officers were waiting when he pulled up and got out of his car. He told police, he only intended to talk to the girl.

During Monday’s sentencing, defense attorney Kevin Sullivan said Allen had lost everything since being arrested. He described how his client got involved in something that was more powerful than he could resist and made some big mistakes.

Cache County Deputy Attorney Ronnie Keller said Allen’s case was more concerning than others who have been arrested for trying to meetup with an undercover officer. He explained how police later learned that the defendant had been communicating with a 13-year-old girl in Colorado. The two had been sexting each other for some time.

Allen told the court, “This was the biggest mistake of his life.” While sobbing, he called his actions selfish, and said he realized the harm it has caused. He also apologized and asked for forgiveness.

Judge Spencer Walsh said Allen’s behavior was dangerous, especially considering the number of children that are online now. Instead of sentencing the defendant to the maximum 15-years-to-life, he reduced the sentence, noting how Allen had also been a victim of sexual abuse as a child.

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  • Mens Rea AND Actus Reus... April 4, 2023 at 9:57 pm Reply

    Despite the fact that this guy is obviously a deranged disgusting lunatic for being sexually attracted to young girls, he has been convicted for his intent. Legally, there are two elements of a crime: Actus Reus, which means a voluntary act (crime) had to occur, in addition to Mens Rea, which means the accused had to have been in a certain state of mind, this state of mind proves intent. This man ought to have been charged and prosecuted for distribution of pornography as that was what was contained in the filthy pictures he sent. His intent (Mens Rea) was to meet up with an underage girl, yet thankfully he did not. No matter how despicable one’s actions are, or could have been, we have to adhere to the law. The reason we have to do so is to prevent us, the law-abiding citizens and the government from becoming no better than the accused. I hate to admit it, but this was a miscarriage of justice.

  • Popo loco April 6, 2023 at 7:33 am Reply

    No it was not. He got into to his car and then drove to meet up and sexually assault a teen girl. These tactics have been approved by the courts time and time again. You should go back to law school and pay attention this time.

    • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea.... April 6, 2023 at 8:32 am Reply

      Many legal issues have also been raised with this type of conviction. Thank you for your um advice on returning to law school, I already have a Master’s Degree and I am able to observe, analyze, and evaluate situations based on the application of law versus what is actually written in the law. I am doubtful of your ability to approach situations with a similar frame of mind. The problem with these types of cases is many people have won on appeal due to violations of their rights and have thus been freed from prison.

  • Popo loco April 7, 2023 at 10:04 am Reply

    Well there super genius! I am the PoPo Loco and I have a masters degree as well, but won’t stoke my ego by impressing you. Lets keep it simple, there are numerous departments and task force’s that employ these tactics. These tactics have been challenged in courts and approved nationwide by the courts. I am really glad that you know some latin words, but just because you have a M.A. does not mean that you know what you are talking about. I know many an educated idiot. You do not have a JD and you are not a lawyer. You are just some dude shilling for some sick child rapist.

    • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea April 7, 2023 at 2:01 pm Reply

      I am all in favor of locking up child molesters and letting prison justice be served, I also respect the laws. Actually, you are the one who is misinformed Poco Loco; the reason why To Catch a Predator was refused a new contract was because of the ethical and legal concerns with this type of “policing.” While this guy ought to have been charged and prosecuted for distribution of pornography, the police would then have secured the necessary requirements for probable cause to surveil him upon release from jail as he would have been a registered sex offender. Recall The Shawshank Redemption, Andy sat in his car with his gun, drinking alcohol, walked up to the house, and left bullets with his fingerprints strewn all over the ground. He didn’t kill his wife nor did he kill the man with whom she was having an affair. And if the adulterous couple was not murdered, Andy would not have been wrongfully charged. Obviously, these situations are different; they are also comparable in regards to the legal conception and application of intent. This guy’s intent was there, but the only crimes he actually committed were sending filthy pictures of himself. Oh and congratulations on your educational attainment. I hope you utilize your research skills you ought to have learned and check out the legal concerns which were raised over these types of issues. Best wishes.

  • Popo Loco April 7, 2023 at 3:47 pm Reply

    Wow dude, you are a legend in your own mind. Have you informed the Logan police department that they are violating
    the constitution or the Utah POST board. Your legal argument using the Shawshank redemption is exemplary and should set a many innocent child molesters free. Have you called Judge Walsh to inform him of this travesty of justice?
    The you have Nathan who plead guilty to enticing a minor, have you reached out to him and informed him of his mistake? What is your masters in? Animal husbandry, Social work?

    • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea April 7, 2023 at 5:57 pm Reply

      Your argument is baseless and is focused on hypothetical potentialities that did not occur. I am stating the law as it is written, as well as pointing out the components that are required to be proven in order for a crime to have occurred. You interpret it however you would like to, though the criteria for the prosecution of a crime is clearly outlined. Of course he confessed, most if not all defendants in this valley do. He ought to go to jail because he sent pornographic pictures of himself, and he obviously has some type of serious predisposition towards pedophilia, on which treatment just doesn’t seem to have an effect. The law is the law. Just because some law enforcement divisions and some of the courts in the nation claim something is legal does not mean it is lawful. There is a difference in these legal terms. And, if you haven’t noticed, as of late, our courts are not a very good example of unbiased justice.

  • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea April 8, 2023 at 12:33 am Reply

    People who actually molested children ought to be incarcerated for a good many years, if not for the rest of their natural lives. This guy did not touch the non-existent 13 year old/undercover cop and is serving time as though he had. In fact, this guy got more time than that father who recently received four months in jail for starving his baby to death. Hmmm….
    Law enforcement has a very difficult job especially considering the sheer number of sexual offenses in this valley, yet these methods will backfire at some point in time. Someone who has the intention of sexually assaulting someone yet doesn’t do it is not guilty of rape. Just as someone who gets really upset at another person and plots how they can physically harm, or kill them, even going to the trouble of showing up at their home yet doesn’t follow through is not guilty of murder or assault. We can speculate all we want and think we are certain this guy would have sexually assaulted a girl had she been real, and had she shown up. The likelihood is high that he would have, but no one, not even he knows for 100 percent certainty that he would have followed through. This is a dangerous precedent for both law enforcement and children; someone with financial means who becomes caught up in this type of police sting can, and will hire a really good attorney and will beat these sorts of charges. If this guy had a lot of money to hire an attorney I guarantee he would not be going to prison. These are dangerously flimsy cases.

  • Popo loco April 8, 2023 at 2:19 pm Reply

    You should really put that M.A. in adult education to work. I will refer to Jacobson v United States on the difference between entrapment and a sting operation. The key factor being Allen being predisposed to commit the crime that he plead guilty to and was sentenced for. Allen showed this predisposition by continually chatting with a 13 year old girl. He requested and then sent nudes of himself. He then drove all the way up from Murray to have carnal relations with her. So, he met both the mens rea and actus rea by his previous actions. You can reference Stephen King. I prefer what the courts say. I would suggest that you stick with your field of experties because the Law is most certainly not it.

    • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea April 8, 2023 at 8:06 pm Reply

      It is not a crime to be predisposed to certain conditions; whether or not one actually acts on those predispositions is the issue. Yes, this guy sent pornographic pictures of himself and ought to be punished for these lewd indiscretions as I have previously stated. However, he did not physically touch anyone. The supposed victim was a phantom conjured up by law enforcement. Of course you are entitled to your beliefs even though they are factually false. This case is not based in law; this case and similar ones are based on prosecution of hypotheticals which is not law, nor is it justice. I love how you try to attack me as a human being rather than debate facts; ignorant and arrogant people usually resort to those sorts of attacks when they have nothing else to present. You seem so sure of yourself, yet the foundation on which you rest your whole argument is faulty at best.

    • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea April 8, 2023 at 8:20 pm Reply

      Actus Reus means “guilty act.” What criminal act (besides sending pornographic pictures) did this guy commit? Driving to Logan is not a crime. Mens Rea is intent. In order for a crime to occur, a criminal act which is a verb, not an adjective, nor a noun, but a word to define a physical act must occur. A “guilty mind” (Mens Rea) must coincide with the criminal act to prove intent. Most people have a “guilty mind” at certain points in time, the difference is in whether or not an individual physically acts upon their guilty mind. Look it up for yourself. Try challenging yourself. Get to know the definition/meaning of legal terms. You will see your argument is not based in law. Happy Easter!

      • Popo loco April 9, 2023 at 4:59 pm Reply

        What part of the Utah criminal code are you referring to that trumps what is written in UCC 76-4-201. That code is the governing law for this case and it states an overt act is not required.

        • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea April 9, 2023 at 7:03 pm Reply

          You refer to UCC 76-4-201 which defines conspiracy. Conspiracy to commit a crime involves two or more individuals, in fact the etymology of conspire literally means “to breathe together.” How did the accused conspire with anyone?
          In general, every crime involves three elements: first, the act (actus reus); second, the individual’s mental state at the time of the act (mens rea); and third, the causation between the act and the effect (typically either proximate causation or but-for causation). These are the elements that define if a crime (act, or omission) indeed occurred. Your reference to UCC 76-4-201 is irrelevant, meaningless, and inapplicable to this case.

        • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea April 9, 2023 at 7:55 pm Reply

          Also, if UCC 76-4-201 was used to justify this guy’s prosecution, he would have been charged with criminal conspiracy. He wasn’t. Just a little more food for thought, Popo Loco, aka “police officer that is crazy in the head.”

  • Popo loco April 9, 2023 at 4:38 pm Reply

    Ok, I provided you with the case law that allows the state and federal law enforcement agencies and the lower courts to arrest and convict these folks. You argument has not been upheld by any of the fifty states supreme courts nor has it been upheld by any of the federal courts to include the supreme court. The act of driving to meet a 13 year old with the intent of sleeping with her is enough to get a conviction. This guy must be a buddy or your brother, because the state has him dead to rights and you are chaffing that penetration didn’t occur. You just hang out in your own reality where the earth is flat and Trump won. I will keep enforcing the law as courts dictate through case law. There have only been a handful of these cases over turned and that was due to prosecutorial misconduct and not your argument.
    Please show all of your friends this thread as I am sure that they will appreciate you erudite approach to interpreting the law.

    • Actus Reus AND Mens Rea April 9, 2023 at 7:28 pm Reply

      You are really something else! So because I state the law, raise legal and ethical questions surrounding this case, I now believe the world is flat? Hmmm…most interesting. Perhaps you lash out because you lack self-control over your emotions when another shows you there is more to a case than what you previously believed. Perhaps you thought your snide comments and personal attacks would deter me from continuing with this “debate” if you can call it one. I have no idea who this individual is, nor is he my umm “buddy,” I respect the rule of law rather than support law enforcement to utilize questionable methods in order to try to prosecute individuals. This guy ought to be incarcerated as I have previously stated for distribution of pornography. He then should have been placed on the sex offender registry and supervised probation where his online and physical activities would have been monitored. He ought to have been given the option to take castration medication under the daily supervision of his probation officer and/or a doctor and his pedophilic drive would be eliminated, and taxpayers wouldn’t be footing his bill for the next seven years in prison. There are ways to address these types of issues; for those who have shown to be pathological pedophiles prison, or death could be acceptable forms of punishment and prevention. I think this debate/argument has run its full course, and then some. It is becoming tautological and rapidly advancing no where. We are in agreement with one another regarding the need to address, or to altogether remove pedophiles from society; we seem to disagree with the methods employed in order to arrive at that conclusion.

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